Human rights concern and Washington wants more information Israel classifies 6 Palestinian organizations as terrorist

Human rights concern and Washington wants more information Israel classifies 6 Palestinian organizations as terrorist

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and some of his government attend its first cabinet meeting in the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem.

On Friday, the United Nations Human Rights Office in the occupied Palestinian territories expressed concern about Israel's classification of 6 Palestinian organizations working in the human rights and humanitarian fields as "terrorist organizations", while Washington said it would contact Tel Aviv to obtain more information in this regard.

The UN office said - in a statement - that the classification decisions published by the National Office for Combating the Financing of Terrorism in Israel list very vague and irrelevant reasons, including peaceful and legitimate activities.

He added that counter-terrorism legislation should not be used to restrict legitimate human rights and humanitarian action.

The United Nations Human Rights Office called on Israel to fully respect the right to freedom of association and the right to expression without any interference or harassment of organizations or their employees.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International also said - in a joint statement condemning this move - that this designation allows the Israeli authorities to close the offices of these organizations, confiscate their assets, and arrest their employees in the occupied West Bank.

In this context, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor considered - in a statement - that Israel is stifling civil and human rights work in the Palestinian territories.

The Geneva-based observatory said that this represents another link in the chain of undermining the right to civil and human rights work in the Palestinian territories, preventing the documentation of Israeli violations and supporting their victims, in the absence of an international response to that.

The observatory added that it views the decision against human rights institutions seriously, and called on the international community to pressure the Israeli authorities to curb its policies in subduing critical voices of its practices and violations in the Palestinian territories.

Palestinian rejection
For his part, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the United States will communicate with Israel to obtain more information regarding the classification of 6 Palestinian civil society organizations as terrorist organizations, adding that Washington has not received prior notification about this designation.

In turn, Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh rejected this Israeli decision, calling on the international community and all human rights organizations in the world to condemn it.

Shtayyeh considered - in a statement - the Israeli decision as a serious violation of international law, given that the targeted institutions operate in accordance with Palestinian law, and that they are associated with partnerships with international institutions, which calls for the intervention of these institutions to condemn the Israeli measure and work to prevent its implementation.

On Friday, the Israeli government announced the removal of 6 Palestinian NGOs from the law, citing their association with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The institutions listed in the Israeli decision are: Addameer for Prisoner Care and Human Rights, the International Movement for Defense of Children-Palestine, Al-Haq, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, the Union of Arab Women’s Committees, and Bisan Center for Research and Development.

Israel classifies the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine as a "terrorist" organization.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (a leftist organization) is the second largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization after the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah), and was established in 1967, as an extension of the Arab Nationalist Movement.

For years, Israel has banned - according to observers - dozens of human rights and humanitarian institutions operating in the Palestinian territories.
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